The essence of a pizza lies in its sauce, and these pizza sauce alternatives or substitutes can completely transform the entire pizza.
The cheese and toppings may vary from one pizza to another, but altering the pizza sauce can elevate your pizza to a whole new level.
Pizza sauce unites the crust, toppings, and cheese, creating a flavor explosion with every bite you take, and it enhances the entire experience to the next level.
So, what are the most popular pizza sauce substitutes?
Check out the list below, and later, we discuss some stark differences between different sauces and why you can or cannot substitute one sauce for another.
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Pizza Sauce alternatives/Substitutes
There are a lot of pizza sauce alternatives, but here I discuss the ones I use consistently in my pizza recipes.
If you have your own personal favorite or want me to add something to the list, then leave them in the comments, as I would love to try new options, too.
1. Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo sauce is one of the best pizza sauce alternatives as it gives a creamy, luscious, cheesy flavor to the pizza crust. If you have homemade Alfredo Sauce, then that is going to taste even better.
Alfredo sauce is made with ingredients like butter, parmesan cheese, and pepper, and a base of heavy cream or whipping cream.
2. Pesto Sauce
If you want a fresh, herby flavor in your pizza, I highly recommend substituting your average homemade pizza sauce with pesto sauce.
Pesto is made by grinding simple ingredients like basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil and making a paste of it.
You can substitute a few ingredients like walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts or add sundried tomatoes to your pesto.
3. White Pizza Sauce
White Pizza sauce is one of my favorites. it is similar to Alfredo sauce, but it is more herby, and you can add a bit more ingredients to customize the white sauce to your liking.
White pizza sauce is made with flour, butter, milk, cheese, oregano, salt and garlic. Make this sauce, slather it on your pizza, and top it with some shredded chicken to taste magic.
4. BBQ Sauce
BBQ sauce is a nice, sweet, tangy sauce that is a hit among pizza lovers. If you like a rich tangy, sweet sauce on your pizza, then get this, or you can even make this
BBQ sauce consists of tomato ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt. You can add other condiments like paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder, but that is completely your choice.
This sauce will give a nice smoky sweet flavour to your pizza.
5. Tikka Masala sauce
Making tikka masala sauce or curry is going to be a long process if you want to make it from scratch. If you do not have the time, you can get jarred tikka masala sauce.
I can easily make tikka masala sauce since I have all the spices at home, but that might not be the case for many. The homemade tikka masala sauce is delicious, and since it is fresh, it tastes so much better than the jarred ones.
You can even use leftover curry from chicken tikka masala on your pizza.
6. Red Vodka Sauce
This recipe is famous because of Gigi Hadid’s vodka pasta recipe, and this tastes so good that you should definitely try putting it on pizza.
The sauce has garlic, shallot, tomato paste, vodka, heavy cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. It has the perfect sweet, tangy, and creamy flavor that will taste delicious on a pizza.
If I could eat a jar of hummus, I would!
Hummus is my absolute favorite and one of the best pizza sauce alternatives, if you have not tried hummus on your pizza then you should.
Not only will it give your pizza that creamy and nutty flavor, but it will also go extremely well with veggie and chicken toppings.
Hummus is made with chickpeas, tahini, ice cubes, salt, lemon juice, and garlic topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
8. Chilli garlic Paste/Sauce
This might be a little unusual, but if you have ever had a sweet spicy chili garlic sauce, then you would know that it would taste so good on a pizza as a pizza sauce alternative.
It may not be for everyone since it is really spicy but if you have the spice tolerance, then go for this substitute.
This recipe contains oil, garlic, sugar, vinegar, and red chillis. It has a sweet, spicy, and tangy flavor, making it perfect when layered on a pizza.
9. Cheese Sauce/Spread
Do you love cheese?
If you do, then using cheese spread will be one of the best pizza sauce alternatives. It is creamy, and you can use any cheese spread of your choice.
Using something creamy that can withstand the oven’s high temperatures without separating is key to using cheese spread as a pizza sauce.
I usually get a store-bought jar of cheese spread, but you can use a homemade cheese spread as well.
10. Sweet chili garlic sauce
This sauce is probably one of my favorites to be used as a dip, but try using this instead of a pizza sauce, and you are going to love the combination of crispy pizza dough, sweet chili sauce, and some cheese.
You can add some chicken toppings and bell peppers, making this sweet yet spicy pizza a must-have at all pizza parties!! You should try this instead of pizza sauce.
11. Buffalo Sauce
It would not be a complete pizza sauce alternative list without adding buffalo sauce. If you like your pizza’s hot and spicy flavor and can handle the heat, then go for this one.
It is a real contrast that I suggest this sauce soon after the sweet chili sauce, but trust me, this one will make your pizza spicy, and along with some cheese and chicken, you are good.
It goes so well with beer, and it is the best way to eat your pizza during game nights.
Pizza Sauce vs. Pasta Sauce
The main difference between authentic pizza sauce and pasta sauce is that pizza sauce is not cooked.
While the pasta sauce is cooked in a pan, you later add pasta of your choice in it and mix all of it and your pasta is ready.
Can I Use Pasta Sauce Or Spaghetti Sauce Instead?
You can use Pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce (spaghetti is a kind of pasta)instead of pizza sauce. It is a great alternative and will replace the traditional pizza sauce well.
The only difference is that pizza sauce is not cooked. You can also add meat and other ingredients in your pasta sauce that would give a lot more flavor and dimension to your pizza.
I think it is fun to use Pasta or Spaghetti sauce on pizza. It is not the conventional way but it is sure fun.
Can I Use Marinara Sauce?
Yes, Marinara Sauce is thicker and uses the same ingredients as pizza sauce. So what is the difference?
Marinara sauce usually is made with tomatoes (which could be of any kind, San Marzano, Pomodoro, or anything really) with some herbs and garlic and simmered in a pan.
Marinara sauce is a kind of pasta sauce, and hence it is cooked. You can put marinara sauce on pizza, it is pretty common and it tastes really good!
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